• Premier League

United keeper De Gea facing eye surgery

ESPNsoccernet staff
January 20, 2012

David De Gea, who has been dropped as Manchester United's first-choice goalkeeper, may need laser eye surgery to correct a problem with his vision.

Spaniard De Gea has suffered with a condition that affects the long-range vision in one eye since childhood and regularly wears glasses, switching to contact lenses when he plays.

United employ a full-time optometrist, based at their training ground, and the £18 million summer signing from Atletico Madrid has been recommended for treatment to restore his sight to normal as he tries to eradicate the mistakes that have cost him his place.

The Guardian newspaper claim that De Gea has been at fault for as many as six to nine goals in his first five months at Old Trafford and, although there have been times when his goalkeeping has been exceptional, his first season in the Premier League has been a difficult one.

Whether there is any link to his vision is not clear, but wearers of contact lenses often find their eyesight is strained under artificial light. United want De Gea to undergo the surgery to make sure.

De Gea, 21, has lost his place to rival Anders Lindegaard in the last three games and the Denmark international insists he has no intention of giving up the No.1 spot.

Lindegaard said: "I am very proud of what I have made out of this. Three years ago I was in Denmark's second division. Nobody knew my name. When I first came here nobody could pronounce it.

"It has been fantastic to this point and right now is not the time to relax about it, but to keep pushing on, to get better and to get the best for yourself and the club.

"It is the first time I have played three games in a row and that is what I want, to play as much as possible, but I don't need a definition of my position.

"I am doing everything I can to help David. I enjoy working with him. He's a great lad. He is happy, intelligent, always with a good attitude and we have to push each other."

Asked if he thought De Gea could one day be the best in the world, Lindegaard said: "Of course I do. He has extraordinary attributes, extremely explosive and powerful.

"He is only 21. His potential is massive and there is no doubt he will be United's best goalkeeper at some point. My job is to make sure it is not until I have retired. Which is ten years away."

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